The Red Sox haven’t gotten the best performance out of third and second base this year. With Pedroia out, Eduardo Nunez has been a nightmare defensively. He hasn’t hit much either. Rafael Devers, on the other hand, has struggled defensively, and somewhat offensively, but has also shown his potential. You have to remember at 21, he has yet to reach his prime. The Red Sox, realizing they’ll need some depth for the infield, recently signed infielder Brandon Phillips to a minor league deal.
What does this mean?
Brandon Phillips has never been an amazing player, but not been a bad one either. With a career .740 OPS, he can certainly add value to the lineup as well as offer a defense option for the infield. Throughout the years he solidified himself as one of the best defensive second basemen in the game. Although his defense has dipped a bit the last few years, he can definitely be reliable as an option over Nunez.
Phillips is now in Florida, working out and getting into his best shape before he play third base for Pawtucket. The Red Sox were recently rumored to be involved with a couple other teams interested in acquiring Adrian Beltre. If Phillips works out, they will probably just stick with him throughout the rest of the year. Phillips can also provide mentorship for Devers at third. With Devers still growing and learning the game, he’ll need to have a mentor and all the help he can get at the hot corner.
So for all the possible trades this upcoming deadline that Dave Dombrowski can consider, the signing of Phillips could potentially eliminate one of them. This would provide needed depth for the infield in case Pedroia can’t make a return. Too early to see how this will work out, but it’s definitely a smart move by the front office that could end up really paying off in the end.